December 23, 2009

Christmas Parties

We were lucky enough to have two Christmas parties in one night. The funny part was that they were on the opposite spectrum of parities.

The first was my boss' Christmas party at his new condo. So we put on cute clothes, took our photos in front of the Christmas tree and we were off.

Our second party was a Tacky (although if you like some of the sweaters you see here, just think of them as "festive") Christmas Sweater Party at our neighbors' house. So we raced home, put on our best Christmas sweaters/attire/accessories, and we were gone again.

My earring lit up. They are awesome.
Grace even got in on the fun!

We thought the reindeer antlers were a nice touch, and the jiggle bells on them were truly awesome.

I've stolen some of these from Facebook, but they are worth repeating.

There are two of our neighbors.

Our neighbor Abby and me--one of my antlers had given out.

Do you recognize Charlie Brown's Christmas tree? We thought it deserved a sad face.

So we had a great Christmas weekend. It was perfect to get us in the spirit!

The Foodie Lives

I mentioned here that I won a giveaway from a food blog, and I received a box of goodies, including dried mushrooms and chilis and pepper and salts. I wanted to report on a few of the things that I have made with them. First, I made a mushroom mac and cheese, and oh was it good. I used dried Chanterelle mushrooms, dried Shiitake mushrooms and dried Maiitake

I used a recipe that I found on  for Penne and Cheese with Mushrooms.

I poured hot water over the mushrooms and let them come back to life.

Then I mixed in all the cheesy goodness and the pasta. It was sooooo good! Good cheese, good pasta and good mushrooms can't be bad.

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December 15, 2009

Truffle Bliss

I just entered this contest on of my favorite food blogs and sites. They are giving away some incredible truffle products, and if you win, you get to choose someone to give a matching product to.

Sooooo, that means you should enter, and put me as your friend, so we both win!

Win Truffle Bliss for Christmas, Click here to Enter

December 14, 2009

Christmas cheer

This past weekend, Chris and I had two holiday parties that we were very excited about. Those pictures to come later. To get us in the holiday spirit, we pulled up several old videos from Straight No Chaser. They are an amazing male a cappella group that does hilarious songs and are super talented. Watch this one to get in the holiday spirit.

And watch this one just for fun! Can you name all of the sitcoms?

Hope you enjoyed!

December 7, 2009


So many of you know about my encounter with the law. You can read the saga, part 1, here.

Part II unfolded on December 2, 2009, at approximately 8:45 a.m. I left my house in the pouring rain. I triple checked my folder to make sure I had my citation for expired Arkansas tags, and my print-out from the TN DMV stating that I purchased my TN tags, exactly 2 days after the offense. Please note that my citation occurred on a Saturday, or it would have been one day.

From my house, I only had to drive across the bridge and four blocks to 201 Popular. From what I'm told, if you're raised in Memphis, you know that 201 Popular is the courthouse and jail, and the address is scarred into children as a mantra.

My court appearance was 9 a.m. Apparently every other felon/criminal in Shelby County had the same court time as me. The streets were crowded with criminals, or soon-to-be-convicted criminal, rolling out of vehicles in the middle of the street. I guess when you're actually arrested, unlike me, you may get your driver's license revoked, or maybe you never had it, and that's why you were breaking into houses and starting fights with your girlfriend in the beginning.

So me and every other Memphis thug are fighting our way into 201 Popular. I chose a Pay For The Day parking lot across the street from 201 Popular and paid $6 to park Big V. I left Big V to socialize with the Crown Vics and walked across the street, in the rain, into 201 Popular.

I guess due to security, and to the sheer volume of criminal thugs, me included at this point, that enter the court house every day, they have created one entrance. Everyone had to go through the same security; everyone rides the same elevator; and everyone walks the same hallways.

Upon my entrance, I am clearly a deer in the headlights, as I, thankfully, don't know my way around this criminal household, and so I begin reading every sign I see and looking to where the majority of people are walking.

Most of the people I entered the building with form a line up the stairs and to my right. I figure that if there is a line, it's safe to go stand in it. It is a VERY long line, and as I'm doubling the hallway to find the end of it, I begin to think it's really not my crowd. As I finally find the end of the line, I look up and the sign above me reads Jail Visitors Security.

Ummmm, no. I am not here to visit my baby's daddy or any other relative in JAIL. I quickly looked around and spotted a security guard. Knowing that MY very security was in jeopardy,  I practically shouted out, "I'm here for traffic court!" It appeared he was a seasoned veteran of the Shelby County jail/courthouse, and I was not the first 5'1", Caucasian female that had cried out to him, and so without flinching he said, "You need to go downstairs." I saw the elevators down the hall, and I made a break for it. I think the jail visitors were sad to see me go, but self preservation kicked it. Flight or fight, and I flighted!

At this point, I remembered the wisdom of the officer who had originally pulled me over. He said, "Go downstairs. You don't need to be upstairs." He was right. I did not need to be upstairs.

So I boarded the elevator awaiting the paradise that was to be traffic court, with nice, non-criminal people who had just let time elapse and meant no harm to the community. Like I had.

No. I was still in the Shelby County court house. It turned out that downstairs had its own security line, which I had to stand in with every other criminal or relative of a criminal in Shelby County--non-jail visiting as they were.

Because I was afraid the court would ask me for some piece of paper that I didn't have, I brought every document regarding my car in a file folder, which I placed in my work bag, which is very cute and embroidered with my name thanks to Anna Parker Morshedi and her wedding favors for bridesmaids. I digress.

I stand in the security line for all of us non-jail-visiting people, until finally I have to place my Cole Hann purse and above-mentioned bag into the conveyor belt. I'm pretty sure the security guard didn't glance at my belongings during the scan due to the fact he was chatting with people that appeared to be regulars. Regulars.

After security, I was off to find division 1 traffic court. This was no easy task because there were no signs or blinking arrows pointing the lost girl where to go. I decided to ask everyone I saw where to go because the hallways and escalators and huge lines looked more like ant farms than anything else. I asked security guards, and they would point me down one hall. At the end of that hall, I would ask police officers, who would direct me down another hall. At that point, I even asked a "regular,' and he directed me to another hall, where I finally found the line I was suppose to be in. There was a cute girl in front of me. I gently asked if she was in the line for the district 1 traffic court, and with quite a bit of a wild hair in her eyes, she answered yes. I knew what she had been through to get there, so I politely thanked her and stood in line.

They call you in three at a time in division 1 traffic court. When it was my time, I walked cautiously into the court room, expecting a mean judge and a panel of punishment-driven jurors; however, what I found was a clerk, or some other non-judge like person, at the side table calling people's names.

I walked up to her desk when asked; I provided her with my paperwork; she signed her name; pronounced Case Dismissed; and I left.

After all of that?!!? After taking my safety into my own hands? After parking in the $6/day parking lot? After standing in the Jail Visitor security line?!?! That's it???

I felt like I deserved a medal, or a gold-sealed letter from Shelby County thanking me for completing my restitution. But no. None did I receive. 

I made my way out of 201 Poplar, back to Big V, who had won over most of the Crown Vics, and headed to work.

My brush with the law was done for now, but Shelby County jail visitors will be wishing that I'll slip up in the future.

December 1, 2009

Christmas decorating

So Chris and I got back from the Arkansas Thanksgiving festivities on Sunday morning, and we began decorating for Christmas.
First, we unpacked the tree--we're not ones for real trees although we appreciate their beauty.

We knew we wanted the tree in front of the French doors so that everyone could see it from the street.

We then unpacked our ornaments. We are so fortunate that we have lots of family ornaments, ornaments that we've purchased over the past years and a few ornaments from each of our childhoods. Once we got it all out of the attic, we realized we had lots of boxes to sort through.

And the boxes piled up.

When Chris and I first began dating, we, or I more so, discovered these Cannon Falls S'Mores ornaments. I love them because they are s'mores, and I want to squeeze them! We've purchased several overall the years, and I always love the cute little characters.

This is me fighting the lights. Not too dramatic, but just checking everything and making sure I like where everything is strung.

Porter really loved the lights, and he thought that he needed to lay on them to really welcome Christmas.

Here I am still working on the lights, and making sure they were strung right all the way up to the top.

Look how good our tree looks! I love the gold fabric on the bottom, and Chris added the fabric ribbon from Jenny, and you can see how nice all the ornaments look!

Here is a cute shot of some of the s'mores ornaments that we like. This is one for the year we got married. It's a cute little groom with a bride in a veil.

We have lots of cool ornaments from my family, including lots of ornaments from my grandmother Jenny. Some of the really cool ones include ornaments like this one that actually fits over a light. This Santa Clause glass ornament fits over a light and then looks like it is a built-in light piece. Very cool. 

Here you can see a little bit of our mantel, including our personalized stockings, which my grandmother made, and you can see the little ceramic "people" that tell me Christmas is here.

These ceramic Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus have always been in my grandmother's window, and now that Chris and I have upgraded our Christmas displays, we're fortunate that they have joined our collection.
For some reason, I just loved them to death, and they mean Christmas to me. So now their new house is on our mantel.

Tonight, we had our neighbors Sean and Nicole and friends Matt and Laura over for our official house lighting party, complete with homemade apple cider and cheese straws. Chris did a great job on the house's exterior.

Happy holidays to everyone!

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